FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Romney’s Inane Campaign

by RALPH NADER

Mitt Romney’s daily dittohead assertions make one wonder what he got out of the law and business degrees he received from Harvard University. One of his regular blasts blames Barack Obama for the daily reports of bad economic indicators. Unemployment increases – blame Obama. Retail sales decline – blame Obama. Profits not rising – blame Obama. Housing crisis continues– blame Obama.

At the same time, Mr. Romney will be the first to tell you that government doesn’t create jobs. In the same breath he’ll brag about creating thousands of jobs as a one-term governor of Massachusetts.
Are there contradictions here?

Welcome to the land of “Republican-speak” and the media dutifully headlining every absurd charge or claim made by the foregone Republican nominee for president in 2012.

First, government can both create jobs and cost jobs. Public works programs by state and federal government have created jobs in America for over 200 years. So do long-overdue safety and health regulations such as those requiring seat belts and air bags and smoke stack scrubbers, which can all be manufactured by American workers.

On the other hand, the “government – global corporate alliance” that created one-sided tax and trade policies like those advanced under NAFTA and through the World Trade Organization have cost millions of net American jobs. After all, the massive annual trade deficits recorded by the United States over the last thirty years have meant a net export of both blue and white collar jobs.

Mr. Romney correctly scoffed at then rival candidate Newt Gingrich last January when the latter claimed that he (as Speaker of the House of Representatives) and Bill Clinton created 11 million jobs. Mr. Gingrich and, in his day, Mr. Clinton took credit for this job surge which really was the result of the tech boom out of Silicon Valley and Seattle which lunched off past government research and development programs.

In the 24-hour news cycle, Mr. Romney is everywhere and nowhere. Even his argument that government can only create jobs by getting out of the way of the business world rings false. He wants more tax reductions for the rich and their companies. But business is already taxed far less as a percentage of profits than was the case in the more prosperous 1960s. Not since the 1950s have taxes overall been lower as a percentage of the GDP than they are today. This is a major reason for the growing federal deficits.

Next Mr. Romney trumpets fewer regulations as having a freeing effect on companies allowing them to create jobs. As always he is very vague about specifics. Since 2000, diminished or no bank regulations have been a major cause for the spiral of reckless speculation and the growth of the complex, abstract derivatives monster which brought down large companies and cost so many millions of people their jobs.

The truth is that most federal regulations on the books are weak and obsolete. Many safety rules and standards are in that category.

Our country is dominated by large corporations. Their lobbyists and their PAC contributions shape how Congress spends large chunks of the federal operating budget to enrich the giant military-industrial complex and expand corporate welfare programs. These same corporate pleaders oppose an inflation-adjusted minimum wage. In fact, corporate lobbies have tied the hands of presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama.

To blame Mr. Obama so completely for the state of the economy is more than Mr. Romney trying to drape amnesia on the public about the role of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It is to assume Mr. Obama has the power to control the Federal Reserve and the stubborn, corporate indentured members of Congress who constitute most members of Mr. Romney’s party.

Blocking the repairing of America’s public works has been the priority of John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell – the Republican leaders. Mr. Obama’s failure is not to take them head on for these community upgrades all over the country.

Mr. Romney wants Mr. Obama to cut spending. Yet he accuses Mr. Obama of under-funding the bloated, massive military budget. Mr. Romney, moreover, never spotlights the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate subsidies, handouts, giveaways and outrageous tax loopholes to Mr. Romney’s campaign paymasters.

The former “private equity” capitalist touts his experience in creating jobs as the reason for voters to choose him. Read “The Buyout of America” by John Kosman to really understand how these corporate strip miners arrange leveraged buyouts, load their acquisitions with large debt, drain off their borrowed dividends, lay off workers and often bury firms in bankruptcies after they have been sucked dry.

Stage Stores, Damon Corporation, Ampad, GS Technologies, Dade Behring, DDi and KB Toys all filed for bankruptcy after being acquired by Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital.

Too bad there are not dozens of presidential debates this fall where people in every region of the country could host the nominees for really substantive exchanges. Inane soundbytes may be good for Madison Avenue, but they are bad for our election campaigns.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.


 

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rivera Sun
Nonviolent History: South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Boycott
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail